Published Date: 06/26/19
Some married moms are lucky. Some of them have a mother-in-law (MIL) who are more like the mothers they had wished for, however, there are also plenty of moms who are not so fortunate. In fact, there is a good portion of these unfortunate moms out there who have a story (or two or three) to tell about their extremely critical and judgmental mother-in-law who has done nothing other than criticizing their parenting. How infuriating! How tiring! It gets very old, like a broken record.
However, the good news is, if this describes your situation, there are ways you can put your overly critical and judgmental mother-in-law in place each time she has something negative to say about your parenting skills! Let's go over 6 of those right now, shall we?
1. Never Ever Take A Thing She Says Personally
Always remember one thing: if anyone is nasty to you for no reason at all, it’s usually them projecting their own insecurities onto you. The same applies to your unreasonable mother-in-law. She may have deep regrets over how she raised your partner. With that said, she is projecting those onto you. You are doing the best you can because every parent is winging it, and forget what dear old MIL says.
2. Laugh It Off
Each time your overly critical MIL brings up something from the past, such as how one of your kids was very hungry one day (which meant you were not feeding him or her enough) laugh it off. Shake it off. If you show her that what she says is getting to you, she will just find other things to throw at you based on how you parent your kids.
3. Turn Things Around
The next time your MIL picks on your parenting skills and gives you unsolicited advice, don't hesitate to ask her if she would have actually taken her own advice while she was raising your partner. And don't let her skirt around that question. Demand an answer from her. If she can't give you one, then you can tell her just that. If you can't answer my question, then how can I possibly take that type of advice? That will put her into her place!
4. Silence Is Golden
One way to respond to your critical MIL is with silence. When she is busy telling you how you are doing the parenting thing all wrong, just stop what you are doing. Turn around and glare at her without saying a word back. Respond to her with pure silence, and a death stare. That will most definitely shock her! This is what you want. Oh, and be sure to do this for a few minutes because that will send the message to her loud and clear. Then you can go ahead and change the subject.
5. Bring Your Partner Into It
The next time your MIL makes a snide remark about your parenting style, then don't hesitate to bring your partner into it. You tell her that this is not only how you parent the kids, but your partner, her child, is also on board and a part of it as well. She may end up having a few discussions with your partner about it, but let them hash it out. Your partner will also have the opportunity to put her into her place as well.
6. If All Of The Above Fails, Speak Up
First, there are some moms around that prefer to be confrontational and would rather just use this tactic before trying any of the above. Secondly, in some cases, the above tactics suggested may not work. That all depends on the type of person your MIL happens to be. If she is one of those women that is quite challenging and will not back down no matter what - then the only thing that will send her the message that you need to send is you having a big bold chat with her.
Whatever you do, if you do not fly off the handle if you confront her. That will only hurt your image and give her ammunition, which is the last thing you want to see happen. You tell her right there and then that the way you parent your children is your decision. You are the one who is taking care of them are you are the one who is responsible for them - not her. And then once you make that message clear, in a respectful way, tell her to back off. And you never know - after being confrontational with her in a respectful way - she may end up respecting you! Talk about a win-win situation.
Having a mother-in-law that is always criticizing your parenting skills is extremely difficult. However, using these strategies can help bring harmony back into your family and make holidays fun again.
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